Native American

 


Bald Eagle perched above Eagle figure at top of totem pole in We-Wai-Kum Band Cemetery, Campbell River Reserve, Vancouver Isand, British Columbia, Canada.

This is a Kwakwaka'wakw (Kwakiutl) pole, carved by Ernie Henderson and Bill Henderson.
Beneath Eagle is the central head of Sisiutl, a sea serpent of supernatural powers. The supernatural Sisiutl had the power to help as well as to harm. If a canoe at sea was unable to proceed because of wind, Sisiutl would surface and fold itself in half to form a self-propelled canoe from which the paddlers towed their own canoe behind.

This pole is a memorial pole to Sam Henderson, who died in 1982 at age 77. Seventeen months later this memorial pole, carved by his two sons Ernie and Bill, was raised with difficulty against a wind blowing in from the sea. The following day, when the pole was unveiled in a solemn ceremony, before a very large crowd, the wind abated.
~From "Looking at Totem Poles", by Hilary Stewart, University of Washington Press




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